We woke up late this morning.
A fuzzy headed child in bed next to me, another one clambering from her crib in her room. I still don’t understand how children can be so beautiful first thing in the morning. Always ready to go, usually with a smile, but not always. But so beautiful.
We finally made it downstairs, settled in for bowls of Cheerio’s at the table. I let the dogs out and stood on the porch. It was mild outside, kind of like when autumn is just at the door. Beckoning. Reminding you that it will be here soon enough. I kind of like that, though. I’m always glad for the reminder that autumn is coming. Autumn means comfort for me, autumn means familiarity. Autumn I can handle.
We made it to town. Dropped the boy off at the YMCA. I always hate seeing him go. It reminds me that soon it will be time for kindergarten. Soon it will be time for other things besides being home together, all day, working our way from one activity to the next. Goodbyes always remind me that there are thousands of small goodbyes in parenting. Packing up clothes that don’t fit. Wishing them well as they start school. Seeing them peddle their bike for the first time.
Goodbyes are everywhere when you have children. They’re so bittersweet.
The girl and I drove over to the park to take advantage of such pleasant August weather. She wanted to swing – oh, how this child loves to sit and swing. And I stood there, hypnotized by her blonde hair. Her incredible golden hair, flowing back and forth, curls everywhere, in her face and in her eyes.
Every day I can see more and more of who they are. I can see the cogs in their brains turning. I see them pondering. I see them discovering for the first time. I watch them delight in a bird that has a worm in its mouth. Seeing them watch out of the car window, their eyes flicking back and forth at everything that we pass by. Always asking questions, always seeking.
Do you ever have a day where you feel like you see more than you normally do? You quietly pray and ask God for patience and to open your heart and make it bigger so that you can hug these children tighter and love them greater. And instead of it feeling like something magical sprouted up inside of you, instead of feeling like something revelatory happened to you, it’s almost like all He does is take the blinders off of your eyes so that you can see what’s already there?
The air smells crisper, their eyes seem brighter, their hugs more ethereal.
It’s like He says, “just look, and I’ll show you.”
I saw it. I needed to see it. I see it all.
I was putting the kiddos to bed tonight. I told my sweet girl that she was a good girl today.
“Thanks. And you were a good mommy today.”
Oh how that caught in my heart. Because how often I don’t feel like a good mommy. How when we left the park, all that I could do was hope that she had enough fun because I couldn’t climb up the stairs and slides or chase after her in my condition. How sore I felt when swinging her, so I had to sit down.
How short I feel like I’m coming up right now in this season of life. How inadequate I feel. She had a good time at the park, but my doubt was there, silently puncturing holes in our good time as we drove off.
How doubt and guilt do that to you, inadequacy eats away at you. Silently. Everyone else around you is unaware. But you still hurt all the same.
But how her gentle reminder while getting dressed for bed covered that wound tonight. How those sweet words were just what I needed to hear. And how gracious God was to let me hear them clearly.
“Thank you,” I said, “I needed that.”